WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Postal Service reported service delivery performance scores for the first three weeks of the fiscal first quarter started in October showing continued positive gains across all First-Class, Marketing and Periodical mail categories.

First quarter-to-date service performance scores covering the period Oct. 1 through Oct. 22 included:

  • First-Class Mail: 91.0 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 3.0 percentage points from the fourth quarter.
  • Marketing Mail: 92.8 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an increase of .2 percentage points from the fourth quarter.
  • Periodicals: 83.3 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, an improvement of 1.2 percentage points from the fourth quarter.

“As we continue to improve service reliability and network efficiency, we are working across the nation to add facilities and equipment at a magnitude not endeavored here in a long time and at a pace that rivals any high-performing commercial enterprise,” said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. “Everyone at the Postal Service has been working all year long to prepare for the upcoming holiday season and we are ready to deliver. The American public should feel confident sending their holiday mail and packages with the Postal Service this year.”

The reported service performance scores reflect new service standards for First-Class Mail and end-to-end Periodicals that went into effect on Oct. 1. The new service standards are part of the Postal Service’s ongoing efforts to increase delivery reliability, consistency for our customers and operating efficiency across our network. Most First-Class Mail (61 percent) and Periodicals (93 percent) are unaffected by the new service standard changes. Standards for single-piece First-Class Mail traveling within a local area will continue to be two days. The delivery standards for Marketing Mail have not changed.

One of the goals of Delivering for America, the Postal Service’s 10-year plan for achieving financial sustainability and service excellence, is to meet or exceed 95 percent on-time service performance for all mail and shipping products once all elements of the plan are implemented. Service performance is defined by the Postal Service as the time it takes to deliver a mail or package from its acceptance into our system through its delivery, as measured against published service standards.

The Postal Service’s preparations for the anticipated higher delivery demands of the 2021 holiday peak season continue. Ongoing efforts have included a national drive to hire delivery and plant personnel that is expected to result in an additional 40,000 seasonal hires by year-end; the leasing of 7.5 million square feet of additional space across more than 40 annexes with multiyear leases to address space constraints due to parcel growth; and the installation of new processing equipment to accommodate higher volumes reflecting customers’ delivery needs.

Since April, the Postal Service has installed 88 of 112 new package sorting machines, reflecting the Delivering for America plan’s $40 billion of planned investment over ten years. Additionally, more than 50 package systems capable of sorting large packages are expected to be deployed prior to December. The new machinery gives the Postal Service the capacity to process an additional 4.5 million packages each day.

This past week, new processing sorting machines were installed in Mid-Florida, Fort Worth (TX), Indianapolis (IN) and Boston (MA). Additional machine installations have recently occurred in NW Arkansas, Austin (TX), Cleveland (OH), Des Moines (IA), Lancaster (PA), Oklahoma City (OK), San Antonio (TX), Minneapolis (MN), Grand Rapids (MI), Shreveport (LA), Sacramento (CA), Atlanta (GA), North Bay (CA), Philadelphia (PA), Scranton (PA), Seminole (FL), Las Vegas (NV), Cincinnati (OH), Richmond (VA), Dallas (TX), Little Rock (AR), and Pittsburgh (PA).

The Postal Service generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.